Yesterday we went for afternoon tea at The Grove (London’s Country Estate, as it calls itself). Our table was booked for 4pm and we left at 8pm, just as the light was fading.
After choosing from the extensive tea menu our sandwiches and cakes arrived on two cake stands (there were three of us, but three cake stands wouldn’t have fitted on the table along with our cups, individual tea pots, milk jugs, hot water pots etc.)
The delicious sandwiches were refilled many times until we were ready for the scones, which arrived warm and nestled in a linen napkin inside a sort of metal basket.
We were recommended a different tea to have with the scones – Vanilla Rooibos – which went with them very well. After eating as many scones as we could manage (they were smallish, which doesn’t make it sound quite so bad!) with strawberry jam and clotted cream, it was time for the cakes, and another pot of tea each. By now we had been there for over two hours, making sure we savoured every mouthful. We ate the little cakes slowly and admired the skill and artistry that had gone into them. Not being able to manage them all, the remaining ones were boxed up for us to take away to eat later.
Feeling completely full, we thought a stroll in the grounds would round things off nicely before going back to the car, and home. The light was fading now (well, it was 7.30pm!) but it was still worth the walk round to admire the gardens and the views over the surrounding countryside. The photos I took outside are not brilliant quality because, of course, the battery in my camera ran out after taking the indoor photos, so I had to resort to my phone.
This is the view just outside the window beside our table.
The view from the gardens.
The series of long ponds.
Rather bizarrely there is a sculpture of a skeleton emerging from the water in one of the ponds.
The Lebanese cedar at the end of the long ponds was planted in 1777.
Another view of the old cedar tree.
This glass shape hanging from the tree had been catching the light during the afternoon and reflecting different colours and patterns.
Even after walking off a little of the afternoon tea, I felt as though I might not need to eat anything else for a few days!